Verdict: An unusual saddle with a strong following, but it's not for everyone
Pros: Noseless design means no pressure on the soft tissue at the front
Cons: Width of the arms rubbed on the top of the thighs
Of all the saddles available on the market, ISM saddles with their distinctive, noseless, two-pronged look, are probably the most recognisable and unusual. They’re popular with a huge number of female cyclists who find that the lack of nose means no pressure on the front of their nether regions.
"This is a saddle designed for riders who adopt a more downward, aggressive on-bike position"
The PN in the name stands for Performance Narrow, which denotes both the intended aggressive riding position and the nose width. This is a saddle designed for riders who adopt a more downward, aggressive on-bike position, and those who prefer a narrower nose.
It’s particularly popular with time triallists and triathletes who will hold that dropped or aero-bar position for long periods of time while pushing out the power.
The advantage of that noseless area is that it means no pressure on the soft tissue of those more sensitive contact points.
Personally, while I found the design did provide relief around the front, the ‘arms’ on either side rubbed badly on my ‘undercarriage area’ and the inside of my upper thighs.
At the rear, the well-padded platform provided good sit bone support with a relatively narrow platform, which means no rubbing at the back of the legs.
Sadly, however, the ISM is not for me. Saddle choice is of course very personal, so just because it doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for other riders.
For some riders, this will be a revelation. For others, not so much.
ISM PN3.1 saddle details
- Widths available: One size (other models available)
- Colours: Black, white
- Rails: Chomoloy
- Weight: 296g
- £140 / $200